Professor Michael Schwartz Awarded CUSE Grant to Study Australian Indigenous Deaf Community
Professor Michael Schwartz has been awarded a Syracuse University Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) grant to study the experiences of the Indigenous Deaf Australian community as its members interact with the criminal justice system in Australia.
"Little is known about the interaction between the Indigenous Deaf community of Australia and that nation's criminal justice system," says Schwartz, outlining his research project, titled "Indigenous Access to the Criminal Justice System in Australia: The Experiences of Deaf Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples." "Bringing a critical disability studies lens to the challenges and opportunities of providing effective communication access to Indigenous Deaf people—whether witness, victim, or perpetrator—is long needed."
Schwartz says that the project team—including Dr. Karen Soldatic of Western Sydney University, Australia, and Dr. Brent C. Elder of Rowan University, New Jersey—will use qualitative and quantitative research methods to examine the experiences of this community to help improve access to the criminal justice system.
"This work will entail qualitative interviews with not only Indigenous Deaf people but also community activists, scholars, researchers, and other key stakeholders in criminal justice," adds Schwartz, a long-time practicing lawyer and experienced sociologist whose research addresses Deaf communities throughout the world.